Expo 2020 announced the news on Twitter: “Multi-award-winning footballer, Lionel Messi has today been announced as our first Global Ambassador.”
Just an hour before they had teased with this message about the Ballon D’Or winner on the microblogging website: “Expo has scored its first official Expo Ambassad’or. Stay tuned for our official announcement tonight!”
With over 82 million fans on Facebook, that’s almost 30 million more than David Beckham, he’s certainly a popular choice for the role.
"Lionel Messi's performances on the football pitch bring people together, and as a result his influence reaches far beyond it. He is the ideal person to be our first global ambassador,” Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, director general of Expo 2020 said.
"He overcame youthful health challenges to achieve his dreams of international excellence through hard work; making him an inspiration. He is perfectly placed to reach out to young people around the world, bringing them together to join us as we work towards hosting our World Expo in 2020."
It’s shaping up to be a great year for the sportsman. On Monday he scooped the Ballon D’Or prize for the fifth time.
Last month he attended the 10th Dubai International Sports Conference alongside fellow football players Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon.
Messi was the guest of honour at the sixth edition of the Globe Soccer Awards on the first night of the conference. However, the star did not address the conference or gala.